Olie Bollen

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Olie Bollen

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Published prior to 2008

This recipe came to the Sands from their Dutch American Field Service (AFS) son Kees Willemson. Kees' father is a confectioner in Haarlem, Holland and as a boy, he can remember many a New Year's Eve cooking Olie Bollen in large, steaming vats on the street during the holiday season and then selling these bits of Dutch warmth and cheer to passing revellers for a couple of gilders apiece.

An Olie Bol is reminiscent of a yeast-raised doughnut, but much better. Although the Dutch celebrate New Year's Eve with them, they are so good, you may want to practice making them several times so at year's end, you'll be an expert.

If you want to mix this together in the evening for brunch the next day, make up the dough, cover it and put the bowl in the refrigerator where it will rise at a pace designed to give you a good night's sleep. Otherwise you'll need to start about 1 1/2 hours ahead of when you want to serve the Olie Bollen.

2 cups (16 ounces) warm water
1 packet or tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) dry milk
4 cups (17 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (3 ounces) currants
1/2 cup (3 ounces) golden raisins
2 apples, peeled and chopped
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Pour the water into a mixing bowl. In it dissolve the sugar, yeast, and dry milk successively. Beat in the eggs and lemon juice. In another bowl, measure the flour and salt. Add the fruit to the flour and stir into the wet ingredients. This will produce a very wet dough which you want to cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel so it can bubble away and expand for an hour or so.

About half an hour before you want to cook the Olie Bollen, stir down the dough and let it rest.

After 20 minutes, heat 3 to 4 inches of vegetable oil or shortening in a large saucepan until it reaches 350°F. Dip a large spoon or ice cream scoop into the hot oil and then transfer a glob of dough to the hot fat. Cook several of these at a time, but allow enough room for them to expand. To help them expand somewhat evenly, flip them over after they've first risen to the surface. Continue cooking them until they're a warm golden brown on both sides, flipping them back and forth as needed. Remove them with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain.

The Dutch eat these wonderful things by tearing them apart and dipping them in powdered sugar. (We use maple syrup here in Vermont, which even a Dutchman approves of, but our Vanilla Powder might prove another acceptable option.)

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. III, No. 2, December 1991 issue.


  • star rating 12/12/2013
  • C.C from Edmonton
  • I wanted to follow up on the Olie Bollen recipe, it was a smash hit. One of the Dutch ladies was so touched, she said that they brought back warm memories of her childhood and took a bunch of them home. She also said they tasted exactly like what you get in Holland. Authenticity is good. The recruits were happy too, better than mess food and something homemade. So the five star rating is definitely deserved. I will be making these again, perfect for pot lucks and very easy. Thank you for your comment back to me it made my day!:)
  • star rating 12/09/2013
  • C.C from Edmonton
  • My husband who is in the military works with a few Dutch people, who get homesick for olie bollen. I decided to try the KA recipe as I have never made anything off of this website that wasn't to die for. I was a little intimidated just because I never deep fry anything, so I took a deep breath my husband got the fire extinguisher and I made these. WOW they are fantastic. It is a shame that there aren't more reviews or people trying them. They are worth it. I will let everyone know how the experts (the Dutch people) like them tomorrow. I did divided the dough in half so I could have some with and without the raisins as some people are fussy. My husband wats to keep them all for himself. They are that good. And best of all it boosted my confidence on frying things as no fire extinguisher was needed. :)
    It was nice to read this account. Good for you! You are a courageous baker and I applaud you. Elisabeth@KAF